The weeklong arbitration hearing in the case of Conte vs. Chelsea is set to finish today, according to Sky Sports, with a decision from the three-member tribunal expected within the next 10-14 days.
If both sides agree with the decision, the legal fight will be over. If either side disagrees, the case turns public and begins to wind its way through the High Court. Chelsea may have acted most pettily in all this, but surely we would not let it get that far. (It’s not “worth it”, certainly not anymore, not that it ever was — the last thing Chelsea should be risking is a reputation of not compensating managers, who already have short lifespans, per the agreed upon contract terms.)
The Italian media certainly expects this to be the end of this unseemly saga. “Conte is free”, shouts the front page of Corriere dello Sport.
La prima pagina del Corriere dello Sport-Stadio ⤵️— Corriere dello Sport (@CorSport) March 29, 2019
-#Conte si libera | Inizia la causa del tecnico contro il #Chelsea
-#CR7 si cura a casa #Messi
-Vuoi #Koulibaly? 150 milioni!
Leggi le altre notizie su https://t.co/UmTqu0sSFY pic.twitter.com/0fUoO3BNMg
It would appear that neither side brought anything new to the table during the arbitration hearing, although obviously these proceedings occurred behind closed doors, so any reporting is based on anonymous sourcing and/or guesswork. Conte, who appeared in person on Thursday, has reportedly stood firm on the full compensation that was due to him as per the terms of the contract signed after the title-winning 2016-17 season. Chelsea have apparently continued to counter with the weak-sounding breach of contract case predicated on the Diego Costa texts and subsequent devaluation, communication issues with the Board, and a few other random behavioral and personal issues that don’t seem to amount to much of anything at all.
Hopefully the panel does the right thing, and everybody finally agrees to get this settle this matter once and for all.